As we enter the month of May during this uncertain time, mental health should be at the forefront of everybody’s minds more so now than ever. Since 1949, the United States has observed Mental Health Awareness Month during the month of May with organizations reaching millions across the country to spread awareness, host events, and offer support to those struggling with mental illness.
Millions of Americans are impacted by mental illness each year. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI):
- 1 in 5 U.S. adults experience mental illness each year
- 1 in 25 U.S. adults experience serious mental illness each year
- 1 in 6 U.S. youth aged 6-17 experience a mental health disorder each year
- 50% of all lifetime mental illness begins by age 14, and 75% by age 24
- Suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death among people aged 10-34
The COVID-19 pandemic has turned the world upside down, and it’s safe to say it has impacted everyone. Communities across the United States are experiencing loneliness, isolation, worries, and anxiety amidst today’s climate with state and local governments enforcing strict social distancing and stay-at-home orders.
Mental Health Awareness Resources
With everything that is going on around the world, the time is now to fight the stigma against mental health.
You are Not Alone
NAMI has started a “You are Not Alone” campaign featuring the lived experience of people impacted by mental illness. Their goal is to combat the stigma, inspire others, and educate the broader public on mental health.It’s important for the mental health community to come together and influence those who are struggling, letting them know they are not alone, and that nobody should ever feel alone.
Throughout the month of May, NAMI will be featuring personal stories from real people experiencing mental health conditions. NAMI explains that by reading about lived experience, they aim to make people feel less alone in their mental health journeys. If you’d like to participate, we encourage you to submit your own story here, or share #NotAlone graphics and messages found here with your community.
Tools 2 Thrive
Mental Health America established May as Mental Health Month back in 1949 and have welcomed organizations nationally to join the movement and spread the word that mental health is something everyone should care about. Each year they release a Mental Health Month toolkit with helpful materials for conducting awareness activities.
This year’s toolkit includes media materials, printable handouts, social media and web components, and even bonus material surrounding COVID-19. You can download the toolkit here.
Mental health is extremely important, which is why within your Smart911 safety profile individuals and families can list pertinent mental health information that would only be shared during an emergency if somebody has to dial 9-1-1. This information is kept private, secure, and won’t be shared elsewhere. Providing this information can help first responders help you during an emergency situation.
Download the below resources by clicking below!